Juvenile and Children's Law Section

This section provides a forum for lawyers who deal with juvenile and children’s law. It produces CLE courses related to this practice area, distributes a newsletter to section members, and works toward improving juvenile justice and children’s law.

The Odeneal Firm
PO Box 392
Lawrenceburg, TN 38464
LinkedIn: Stacie Odeneal
Po Box 4548
Chattanooga, TN 37405-0548
Staff Coordinator
Tennessee Bar Association
221 4th Avenue N. Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219

Haslam Signs ‘Safekeeping Bill,’ Keeping Juvenile Safekeepers Out of Adult Prison

The state’s “safekeeping” statute officially has new restrictions after Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law today a measure that would provide some key updates to the law, The Tennessean reports. Under the new regulations, juvenile safekeepers – individuals without convictions who are housed in a state prison due to overcrowding in their local jail – will not be allowed to be sent to adult prisons. Additionally, judges must review all safekeeping orders every 30 days, a provision intended to keep safekeepers from languishing in solitary confinement. 
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Did Tennessee’s Juvenile Justice Reform Measure Come Up Short?

Though the Juvenile Justice Reform Act passed Tennessee’s General Assembly this year, some of the architects of the bill say that changes made prior to its approval have left the measure “gutted,” WPLN reports. The goal of the law was to keep juveniles from being locked up for minor offenses like truancy, but the final version of the bill turned many of its strictest provisions into guidelines. The bill’s sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, blamed the changes on juvenile court judges, who would have lost power under the law in its original form.
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